Sunday 18 September 2016

Journey Through The Attitude Era Vol 38: WWF Armageddon 2000 Review

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It almost seems surreal but yes, we are almost finished this series. A lot of terrible gimmicks and bad matches have been seen but I would not change a thing! Yes it is time for the only wrestling series that nobody asked for but I gave you anyways, my journey through the Attitude Era. Pay per view by pay per view, I have made my way from 1998 all the way to 2000 and I am not done yet! Tonight’s edition will cover WWF Armageddon 2000, the final pay per view of WWF’s most successful year financially. WCW had all been conquered by this stage but WWF continued to put on high quality shows with all your Attitude favourites. The question is was it as great as we made it out to be? Well strap in as we look to answer that question! The main storyline heading into Armageddon is that Kurt Angle is doomed, yes our WWF Champion must defend his championship against 5 other men in the first and only 6 man Armageddon Hell In A Cell. Kane will also battle Y2J in the conclusion of their feud while Chris Benoit will be wrestling Billy Gunn for The Intercontinental Championship. Let’s get it on!

Opening Promo

We are treated to horrific scenes of war interspliced with footage of the six competitors in tonight’s main event while The End by The Doors plays over it all. We see nuclear bombs, blood and each competitor in pain. Armageddon is upon us and the end could very well be upon one of these superstars. I am also greeted by a rip off of Sweet Home Alabama on the network (Blast you Copyright!). JR welcomes us to the action with Jerry Lawler, live from Birmingham Alabama.

The Radicalz W/ Terri vs Team Extreme

Double Ho Seven, Dean Malenko. I am not sure I even want to go into this gimmick. Well, Dean Malenko was The Ice Man, the stone faced technical genius who did his talking in the ring. Vince was not satisfied with this so thus, Malenko was transformed into a ladies’ man like James Bond and one certain female caught his eye, that being the lovely Lita. Malenko wrestled Lita for the opportunity to have a date with Lita (Just Beautiful). Malenko has Lita in her hotel room and The Hardys beat the piss out of Malenko.

 Malenko is fuming when he makes his way to the ring. The Hardys save Lita from Malenko in the early going, double suplex and slam on Eddie and Saturn by Matt & Jeff. Jeff planchas onto Eddie and Dean, Saturn works on Matt in the ring. Reverse elbow by Staurn, Eddie was out of position for a spot and Malenko was caught on camera saying Eddie you are late (That made me laugh big time). Eddie does make his way in the ring eventually but so does Jeff Hardy, back body drop by Jeff. Saturn cheap shots Jeff on the rope and Eddie tries for a hurricanrana.

 Jeff holds on, Lita Twists of Fates Eddie and Jeff Swantons Eddie. Eddie has been eliminated. Jeff nails a Whisper in the Wind on Saturn, poetry in motion on Malenko. Saturn catches Jeff out of the poetry in motion and scores with the death valley driver (Nice Move). Jeff has been eliminated by Saturn with his old WCW finisher. Terri grabs the foot of Matt, superkick by Saturn. Saturn counters a Twist of Fate into a dragon suplex. Matt slams Saturn and Malenko saves Saturn.

 Twist of Fate on Saturn and Matt is in the ring with Terri. Terri is speared by Lita, Malenko swoops in and rolls up Matt with a hold of the tights. Lita vs Malenko, headscissors by Lita, rolling clutch pin and that gets a two for Lita. Boot to the face by Lita, Moonsault and a two count. DDT from a victory roll by Lita, Malenko crotches Lita and a top rope superplex by Malenko. Dean has Lita beat but Malenko knocks down Lita with two huge clotheslines. Elbow by Malenko, backbreaker and a cover.

 Malenko is toying with Lita and locks in the Texas Cloverleaf. Lita taps out and Malenko does not relinquish the hold right away. Malenko has his revenge but he throws Lita to the floor like she is trash. The Hardys run to the rescue but it is too late. I am not sure what to think of this, Lita was made to look great by Malenko but men fighting against woman is always hard to get invested in but Lita was made look tough, she took a beating and stood up at the end of the match. Bright things are in your future Lita and you deserved it.

Winners: The Radicalz over Team Extreme by elimination!

Promo Time

Quick promo with Kurt who says he will walk out tonight the champion while we are also treated to clips from previous Hell in a Cell matches. Mick Foley’s job as commissioner is on the line due to the violent nature of The Hell in a Cell matches. Vince is ready to do anything to prevent the match from happening.

(WWF European Championship Match) William Regal © vs Hardcore Holly

Bob Holly has another crack at Regal after screwing up his own chances at Survivor Series by getting disqualified. Holly is the hometown hero so if you do not know who is going to win this match, you have not been watching wrestling for very long. Holly smashes Regal to the outside before Regal tosses Holly into the ringpost. Holly recovers to score with a back suplex, Holly climbs to the top rope, Regal blocks Holly with a boot.

 European uppercuts by Regal, Regal has Holly for a superplex. Regal scores and gets a two count. Bow & Arrow by Regal, crowd chants for Holly. Regal attempts an underhook suplex, Hardcore reverses Regal. Stiff clothesline by Holly, beautiful dropkick by Holly. Falcon’s Arrow by Holly, Holly climbs high again. Huge legdrop and a two count for Holly.

 Regal counters a hurricanrana into a powerbomb, Regal attempts The Regal Stretch but Holly is in the ropes. Regal Cutter is blocked and Holly nails Regal with a forearm shot. Referee checks on Regal and out of nowhere, a wild Raven appears and Even Flow DDTs Holly. Standard Raw like match with a cheap finish, Raven and Holly would not even lead to a pay per view match between the two. It is a case of that’s the best they could come up with? Lame.

Winner: Regal over Holly thanks to Raven!

Chyna vs Val Venis W/ Ivory

Chyna had been having problems with RTC due to their relationship with Eddie Guerrero. Ivory had started to fight Chyna and as I see the seeds being planted for their match at Mania and hindsight being 20/20, I am already groaning at the thought of their match. Chyna jumps Val in the ramp, drop toehold and choke hold by Chyna. Val is rammed into the turnbuckle, stomps in the corner by Chyna. DDT by Chyna and a cover, two count for Chyna. Knee to the ribs by Val and a Russian legsweep for good measure.

 Cover and a two count, Val tosses Chyna to the floor and Ivory puts the boots to Chyna. Double underhook suplex by Val gets a two count. Chyna battles back from the ground, rake to the eyes by Val and a nice scoop slam. Chyna dodges an elbow from Val, forearm shots by Chyna. Big back bodydrop and a swinging neckbreaker, two count for Chyna.

 Knee to the ribs by Val but Chyna floors Val with a clothesline. Kick to the ribs by Val, Val catches Chyna with a powerslam. Val goes up for the Money Shot, Chyna dodges and hooks the leg. Two count for Chyna, scoop slam and Ivory trips Chyna when Chyna runs the ropes. Chyna chases Ivory but runs into a Fisherman Suplex from Val. Was an alright match, could be put into the category of a Raw like match. Afterwards, Chyna threatens to powerbomb Ivory but Val makes the save with a Blue Thunder Bomb.

Winner: Val Venis over Chyna via Fisherman Suplex!

Backstage Promo

More Hell in a Cell footage with Cactus Jack nailing Triple H with a flaming 2x4 wrapped in barbwire. Stephanie confides in her father that she is scared for her husband’s, Triple H’s safety. Vince calms Stephanie by stating that he will stop Mick Foley and The Hell in a Cell match.

 Interview with Undertaker where Taker says he is a different man in this cell, Undertaker will make someone famous. There is at least 15 minutes where we are treated to nothing but promos, I am confused as I just watched three matches that ended in such quick fashion and now I have to sit through promos? Is this a glorified Raw? After a long-winded promo from Taker, Vince comes out for a promo. Patterson and Brisco help Vince out and apparently, Vince had asked Linda for a divorce. Knowing where this story goes, I am feeling wrong again just like when I thought of Chyna vs Ivory. Vince glorifies his divorce to the world, rambles and blah, blah, blah. This is ridiculous, I do not want to see this on my pay per view. Vince bitches and moans about The Hell in a Cell and I really could not care for the whole thing.

(Last Man Standing Match) Chris Jericho vs Kane

Jericho could not get Kane out of his life, Kane has beaten Jericho twice on pay per view. Jericho and Kane has a solid match at Survivor Series, the Rebellion match was not as good but that could be chalked up to the two being in England and not working as hard. Jericho has showed a lot of heart against Kane but does Y2J have enough to overcome Kane in their final encounter? Jericho and Kane hammer one another on the ramp, we are backstage.

 Camera crew is doing a poor job following the action. Kane tries smashing Jericho with a box, Jericho dodges but Kane has a shovel. Jericho and Kane battle along before running into Mideon, Mideon is beaten down by both men before we see the two return to ringside. Jericho rolls Kane into the ring, reverse elbow from Jericho. Jericho clotheslines Kane to the floor, Jericho attempts a crossbody, Kane catches Jericho and tosses Y2J into the ringpost before Kane drills Jericho with a powerslam on the floor. Big right hand from Kane and a backbreaker. Shoulder thrusts in the corner, hard Irish whip by The Big Red Machine. Kane overpowers Y2J who cannot catch a break, huge hiptoss by Kane.

 Choke hold by Kane, referee administers the ten count while Jericho lays prone on the canvas. Y2J is back to his feet by 8, Jericho attempts a spinning heel kick but Kane drops Y2J. Jericho does score with the spinning heel kick on the second occasion. Jericho misses The Lionsault as Kane blocks with his knees. Diving clothesline by The Big Red Machine. Jericho continues to walk into right hands from Kane. Jericho flips off Kane, big mistake as Kane scores with The Chokeslam. Referee is counting and to Kane’s amazement, Jericho stirs at 9. Kane has a chair from ringside, chair shot to the ribs and back of Y2J. Kane is not finished, Tombstone time for Y2J.

 Y2J fights out, low blow and a DDT by Jericho. Jericho has the chair, vile shot to the head of Kane. Missile dropkick by Y2J, facebuster and Jericho places the chair across Kane. Lionsault using the chair by Y2J, both men are down with Jericho sacrificing himself to keep Kane down for the ten count. Kane sits up at 9, big boot and a military press slam to the floor. Kane batters Jericho toward one side area of the entrance way, Kane drags Jericho toward a table, Jericho bulldogs Y2J through a table.

 Jericho uses part of the stage structure comprised of at least 15 barrels are pushed over by Y2J and fall directly on Kane. Jericho has overcome Kane by burying him under the wreckage. That was a fun match from these two who had wrestled for three straight pay per views. The first match was good, second was worse in my opinion but the final match was a fitting end to their feud with Jericho finally prevailing over Kane. Kane was not hurt by the loss as he did not get pinned in the match, Kane still looks like an absolute monster. I enjoyed the story, the wrestling and the finish was creative.

Winner: Chris Jericho over Kane via Burial!

(WWF Tag Team Championship Match) Edge & Christian vs The Dudley Boyz vs RTC © vs Road Dogg & K-Kwik (Four Corners Match)

I wish I could tell you why K-Kwik and Road Dogg are in this match but it is important as Road Dogg would be making his last pay per view appearance for the WWF until he would return to win the tag team championships 13/14 years later. Also I did not mention this earlier but this would also be Dean Malenko’s last pay per view match. RTC beat down D-Von, Bull eats an elbow from D-Von. D-Von eats a boot from Bull, Goodfather is thinking Ho Train and Goodfather hits the move for the first time on pay per view since the Ho days.

 Road Dogg tags D-Von, Goodfather beats up Road Dogg before Edge tags himself in the match. Edge & Christian are in the ring with Bubba and Road Dogg where we see a double punch spot from Bubba and Road Dogg. Bubba and Road Dogg knock one another down instead of beating up Edge & Christian. K-Kwik is in, spinning calf kick. Christian nails K-Kwik from the apron, Edge drills Kwik with a boot. Kwik battles back on Edge, Edge single arm DDTs the young rookie. Christian is in and boots K-Kwik. Goodfather tags in, armwringer by Goodfather. Fujiwara armbar by Goodfather, Bull is in and wrenches the arm of K-Kwik. Edge tags himself in from Bull, K-Kwik is beating down hard. Edge misses a double ax handle and K-Kwik scores with a neckbreaker. K-Kwik tags in Bubba, Bubba hammers Edge & Christain, sidewalk slams and clotheslines for everyone.

 All hell breaks loose, RTC are thrown over the top rope, K-Kwik planchas onto RTC but Goodfather catches K-Kwik. Backbreaker on K-Kwik but Road Dogg takes out RTC. Stevie superkicks Road Dogg. It is The Dudleys vs Edge & Christian for now, Dudleys have the table. Battering ram on RTC, Dudley death device on Edge. Christian saves Edge. Bull and Goodfather receive 3Ds from The Dudleys. Low blow headbutt on Christian, D-Von reaches for the table but Stevie Richards takes out D-Von.

 In the ring, Christian Unprettiers Bubba after an Edge spear and we have new tag team champions. Originally, I thought this was a four corners elimination match, I thought this even more as the match went on as The Dudleys wiped out RTC with 3Ds but strangely, The Dudleys would not pin RTC and it made no sense to me.

 Knowing that this match was not elimination, it confuses me more as The Dudleys could have won the match multiple times but they did not bother going for the win, they were simply more interested in putting someone through a table? Well, that makes them look stupid right? Honestly, the action was fine, it broke down in the end  and chaos ensued with the heels Edge & Christian walking away with the win.

Winners: Edge & Christian over Everyone Else via Spear!

(WWF Intercontinental Championship Match) Billy Gunn © vs Chris Benoit

Billy Gunn had beaten Eddie Guerrero for the championship, gaining retribution for Chyna after her treatment at the hands of Latino Heat. Benoit is a member of The Radicalz with Eddie and is challenging for the championship. The match starts off with Billy trying to outwrestle Benoit, Billy is winning temporarily before Benoit hurls Gunn into the steel steps. Benoit has his target and just like The Undertaker match, Benoit goes right after the leg of Billy Gunn.

 Billy Gunn counters a shin breaker into a sunset flip but Benoit kicks out and dropkicks the knee of the champion. Dragon screw legwhip, figure four by Benoit. Gunn reverses the hold and Benoit grabs the ropes to break the hold. Billy misses a stinger splash, german suplexes by Benoit, a trifecta wipes out Gunn. Benoit misses his signature diving headbutt, Billy fires up, powerslam and a hook of the leg gets a two count. Military press slam and a jackhammer by Gunn, Gunn signals for The FameAsser. Benoit kicks out at 2! Benoit counters the One and Only into a Crossface, Gunn reaches the ropes with his foot.

 Tilt a whirl side slam botch by Gunn, Benoit locks in The Crippler Crossface after Gunn attempted an inside cradle. That was a solid match, Gunn sold well as he could not capitalize on the FameAsser because he could not walk over to pin Benoit. It was hard hitting and Gunn fighting to get out of The Crossface was well appreciated, a nice change from just being caught in the move.

Winner: Chris Benoit over Billy Gunn via Crippler Crossface!

(WWF Women’s Championship  Match) Molly Holly vs Trish Stratus vs Ivory ©

Trish looks amazing as does Ivory and Molly Holly. Let’s hope this match lasts longer than that sentence. Molly spears Trish and Ivory watches, hairtoss by Molly. Huge chops in the corner, nice monkey flip spot by Molly and Trish, Molly lands on her feet but Ivory clotheslines Molly. Double dropkick by Molly on Trish and Ivory. Ivory and Trish fight on suplexing Molly which ends with Ivory knocking down both women. Molly scores with a crossbody on both women.

 Trish attempts a hurricanrana, Molly nails a sitout powerbomb and Ivory steals the pin. It lasted longer than that sentence, Trish was not ready ringwise for long matches. T&A come out to the ring and look who is back, The APA are back after being absent since No Mercy thanks to T&A. APA lay out T&A. Unfortunately, there would be no pay per view match between the two to settle their feud as Trish would join Kurt Angle and later Vince Mcmahon. Trish would turn on Test who would become a face while Albert was thrown into X-Factor with X-Pac and Justin Credible.

Winner: Ivory over Everyone Else!

(WWF Championship Match) The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Triple H vs Kurt Angle © vs The Undertaker vs Rikishi (6 Man Hell in a Cell)

Vince had returned to television after his absence due to the dissolution of The Mcmahon-Helmsley Regime. Foley has made the match, The Commissioner’s job is on the line due to the violent nature of the match. Kurt Angle is mauled on the floor by Austin, Taker has Angle and Rock has Rikishi. Referee Tim White locks the cage shut, Rock chokes Rikishi with camera wires while Austin roughs up The Game. Undertaker has his bandana around the neck of Angle, elbow to the face of the champion. Rikishi has Rock in the ring, Rock fires back before Rikishi rakes the eyes. Rock explodes with a clothesline, Angle stomps Taker in a corner of the cell. Austin has Triple H in the ring, facebuster by The Game but Austin unloads with a Lou Thesz Press.

 Knee across the back by Austin, Angle chokes The Rock in the ring. Triple H has Austin’s knee, ramming The Rattlesnake’s leg into the ringpost. Samoan drop by The Rock on Angle, two for The Rock. Reverse elbow by Angle, Undertaker pulls Angle to the floor. Austin is suplexed by Triple H on the floor, Rikishi is ramming The Rock with right hands. Angle baseball slides Rikishi, Austin stomps The Game. Stone Cold punishes Triple H by scraping his face off the steel cage. Triple H is busted open by Austin, Rikishi chokes Undertaker with his foot on the floor. Rikishi drops a legdrop on Austin as Austin was climbing into the ring, Rikishi and Triple H appear to be working together before Triple H pedigrees Rikishi.

 Rock stops the count at two, DDT on Triple H. Angle saves the match, Angle Slam by Angle. Cover and Austin makes the save, Stunner to Kurt but Undertaker stops Austin. Chokeslam by Taker on Austin, Triple H saves Austin. Rikishi misses Austin with the splash, clothesline by Austin. Austin squares off with Taker before Rikishi floors Austin. As the match rages on, out comes Vince on a truck with chains and Mcmahon proceeds to tear down the cage. Vince rips off the door with the construction truck. Foley comes to ringside and says screw you Vince. Foley floors The Stooges and Vince is taken away by the cops. The match will continue, the action spills outside of the cage. 

All six men brawl towards the cars at the stage, Triple H blocks a Rock Bottom on top of a car. Pedigree by Triple H on the car, everyone is bleeding except Rikishi and Taker. Austin catapults Helmsley onto a car, elbow for good measure. Undertaker beats Angle with a microphone, Angle battles back and smashes Taker with a steel chair. Triple H climbs the cell to escape Austin, Austin climbs to the top and the two battle on top of the cage.

 Angle and Undertaker are also on the top of the cage, Rikishi says why not and climbs to the top. Austin and Taker pummel Angle. Timekeeper throws a chair to Taker (What? Ok awesome). Taker hits Angle with a vicious chair shot, Rikishi chair shots Undertaker and Angle. Angle climbs down from the cage and Undertaker has Rikishi. 

Undertaker grabs Rikishi by the throat, Undertaker throws Rikishi right into the construction truck (HOLY SHIT WHAT A BUMP). That is not easy to watch, The Rock and Austin have a stare off for the second pay per view in a row (Damn you WWF, how you tease us with this awesome match). Rock blocks The Stunner and spinebusters Austin, Rock attempts The People’s Elbow but Triple H breaks it up. Rock hammers The Game, Triple H is on the floor. Rock Bottom on Angle, Austin stops the count! Austin stunners The Rock, Austin crawls but Triple H thwarts Austin. Angle crawls over to pin Rock while Triple H lays out Austin with a neckbreaker. 

The kindest thing I can say for this match was it was entertaining. 6 man matches are hard to cover for camera men especially in such a tight environment, a lot of the action would focus on two people while a million other things could have happen and we would only see snippets of action. Also, a lot of the match took place outside of the ring, on top of the cell and by the entrance way. This led to a whole bunch of repetitive moves as we were treated to mostly kicks and punches. There was little emphasis on wrestling moves apart from the finishers in the middle and the end of the match.

 For me, it detracts from the match as kicks and punches for 25-30 minutes is very hard to sit through. That being said, it was a match that captured the fan’s interests and that’ all the WWF are really aiming for with a gimmick match like the Hell in a Cell. The draw is the match and not the wrestling inside of the ring.

Winner: Kurt Angle over Everyone Else by stealing a pin!

So how did WWF end the year? Well, it was not the best pay per view of the year storyline wise or wrestling wise. We saw some whacky stuff like the whole Malenko Double Ho Seven thing, we saw the typical stereotype of the fans going nuts for characters and sitting on their hands for matches with the likes of Chyna vs Val, Benoit vs Gunn and Regal vs Hardcore. The women’s match was really short while Jericho and Kane delivered a great match and The Hell In a Cell was just all out over the top with the blood, bumps and finishers.  With Austin’s return, you think the WWF would be banging out their best of the year but I feel the earlier pay per views of 2000 had the edge over the later pay per views of the year. However, with the Royal Rumble being next and Wrestlemania Season starting, the WWF went into overdrive and starting kicking some serious ass! Join me next time for Royal Rumble 2001.

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